In less than 30 years, Tokyo’s skyline will include the planet’s tallest wooden building. Japan’s Sumitomo Forestry Co. is looking to construct a 350 meter, 70-floor structure to celebrate its 350th anniversary in 2041. Japan’s government has long promoted the benefits of wooden structures, going so far as to pass legislation in 2010 that required wood to be incorporated into all public structures of up to three stories in height. Sumitomo Forestry Co. claims that the anniversary project, code-named the “W350 Project,” will serve as an example of humane urban development and it sees the proliferation of wooden high-rise architecture as a way of bringing forests back to urban centers.
The W350 Project will primarily consist of wood, with only a tenth of its entirety involving steel. The structure’s internal skeleton will be designed to survive the heightened levels of seismic activity within Japan. All of its 455,000 square meter interior will be of wooden construction. Renderings of the project’s final form depict a structure filled with several offices and shops, a roof garden and a hollow center to guide sunlight into rooms.
Balconies along each face of the exterior will be engineered to encourage greenery from the foundation to the highest floors, in a measure toward urban biodiversity. Assessments of material usage put the W350 Project at requiring 185,000 cubic meters of wood to complete and a total cost of ¥600 billion. Sumitomo Forestry Co. believes the cost in yen will decrease as technology improves between 2018 and 2041.